Sebastiano Jospeph Peluso was the radio operator on the John Oliver “Jay” Buslee crew. Sebastiano, known as Yano to family, was born on July 8, 1924. His parents were Joseph and Antonetta Peluso, Italian immigrants to the United States. Sebastiano, the youngest of the Peluso children, had two older sisters, Sala (or Sarah) and Jennie (or Jean). Sala was nine years older and Jennie was seven years older than Sebastiano. All of the children were born in New York. During WWII, the Pelusos lived in Brooklyn.
On November 4, 1942 at the age of 18, Sebastiano enlisted in the Army Air Corps in New York City. His enlistment record notes that he was single, had completed one year of college, was 5’9″, and weighed 134 pounds.
Sebastiano served on fifteen missions with the 384th Bomb Group, all of them as Radio Operator of the Buslee crew. On September 28, 1944, just two months past his twentieth birthday, he was aboard Lead Banana with the Buslee crew and was killed in the mid-air collision with Lazy Daisy.
Sebastiano was the last man of the crew to be identified, and most likely was buried in the Ost Ingersleben cemetery with his crew mates, and then re-interred at the Netherlands American Military Cemetery at Margraten.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on December 30, 1948:
82 Boro War Dead On Way From Europe
The U.S. Army transport Barney Kirschbaum, bearing the bodies of 4,384 war dead, will arrive at the Brooklyn Army Base at about 9 a.m. tomorrow, two days late as the result of storms at sea.
Memorial services, previously announced for yesterday, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow on the upper level of Pier 3 at the base, 58th St. and 1st Ave. Next of kin and the public are invited.
Armed forces dead originally interred in temporary military cemeteries in France, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg are among those being brought back to this country.
A total of 429 remains are being returned upon instructions of next of kin residing in New York, 82 of them in Brooklyn.
Following is a list of the Brooklyn war dead on the ship and their next of kin:
Listed among the war dead was
S/Sgt. Sebastiano J. Peluso. Joseph Peluso, 2963 W. 24th St.
Sebastiano Joseph Peluso was buried on January 19, 1949 in his final resting place in the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York in Plot J, Site 15423.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015